Hüma Chia Energy Gels Review

Huma Review Cover.jpg

Ever since reading It Starts With Food and being diagnosed as gluten-intolerant and joining Weight Watchers, I have been trying to take an active role in getting healthy, losing weight and taking care of my body. After losing my mother unexpectedly about two years ago and then almost losing my own life last year, I have developed a heightened sense of awareness of how fragile and provisional life really is. It is absolutely striking to me that one person dies of a pulmonary embolism every six minutes in the United States alone (http://clotconnect.org). That could have been me.

One of the things I have really started to pay attention to is the amount of highly processed, highly sugared, highly unhealthy substances we are putting in our bodies. Nutrition is important – more than I ever imagined – and I believe the foods we eat (or don’t eat) are playing a major role in undermining our health around the globe, contributing to sometimes preventable diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart attack and stroke. The amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates we put in our bodies are contributing to such systemic inflammation that I do believe it is killing us.

Less is more when it comes to food – and maintaining our nutrition while exerting high levels of energy is also important to keep us sustained during our workouts. While I almost exclusively drink Gatorade and eat GU while running longer distances, it has really bothered me that these commercial energy supplements – while they work – are filled with sugar and a bunch of things I can’t pronounce. What is all of that stuff? And it is helping our health? I doubt it.

I am always on the hunt for natural, yet convenient and handy ways to hydrate and fuel on my runs so I was really excited when I was given the chance to try and review Hüma Chia Energy Gel.

Hüma Chia Energy Gels are all natural, gluten free and made in the USA. And guess what? When you read the ingredients list you won’t be unsettled that it takes up the fingers on both of your hands and you will be able to pronounce each and every last ingredient. In the Apples and Cinnamon Gel there is Apple Puree, Evaporated Cane Juice, Filtered Water, Brown Rice Syrup, Ground Chia Seeds, Sea Salt, Citric Acid and Cinnamon. That’s it. Nothing else. N-o-t-h-i-n-g.  I know what each of these things are and in terms of a long run when I need sustainable energy quickly, I am comfortable putting all 100 calories of them in my body.

Huma ingredients on back of package

Hüma (pronounced “Hoo-mah”) is based on the name of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, otherwise known as “The Running People” because they participate in 50-100 mile races, making them the premier ultra-marathoners. They thrive on chia seeds, which have a long history as an endurance fuel. Ancient Aztec tradition held that an ounce of chia seeds could sustain a warrior for 24 hours. Today, chia is considered a super food for the following reasons (http://www.humagel.com/why-huma/all-natural):


I found the FAQ section of the Hüma website very helpful in answering my questions about Hüma, including why is the package larger than a typical energy gel (Hüma gels have a higher water content than other gels, which makes then easier to swallow and digest, but that also means less calories per ounce, so there is more in the package). I tried the Strawberry (I am not a cinnamon fan, unfortunately) and found the consistency to be very similar to Apple Butter.

Front of huma package verticle

The taste was surprising to me as I could taste strawberry, but it was somewhat bitter, not like the processed packets I am used to. I did not particularly like the flavor, although the coarser texture was refreshing to me because I felt like I was eating something. I ran two miles in the heat on the day I tried Hüma and felt good using them as fuel in the conditions at hand. While I did not like the taste, my husband took the Apples and Cinnamon on a three day canoe trip with him and he liked the flavor. He said they were perfect snacks while canoeing because he didn’t have to stop and unpack his gear or build a fire when he was feeling like he needed energy. He just opened a Hüma gel and kept right on paddling. I think the flavor is all personal, and something I could get used to, because many other athletes reviewed Hüma and also enjoyed the flavor.

Connect with Hüma Chia Energy Gel on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find them on Pinterest (search Hüma Energy Gels) and Instagram!

Overall, it is worth it to me to sacrifice a little bit of flavor for real ingredients, whole fruit taste and all-natural energy, especially in light of how unhealthy I think traditional sports drinks and gels are and I would definitely rather fuel with Hüma Chia Energy Gels than my standard energy gels and sugary sports drinks.

You can order Hüma Chia Energy Gel online or check the store locator for a resale shop near you.

What about you? Have you tried Hüma Chia Energy Gels? Did you like them? Did they help during your run? Do you use a natural gel or sports drink? Why or why not?

Until the next mile marker,

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Please note: I was provided with four samples of Hüma Chia Energy Gels to try and review. I was not compensated for this review, nor was I asked to write a positive one. Thank you to Hüma Chia Energy Gels for your generosity in providing me with this product to review.


I don’t have famous stir-fry anymore (a.k.a. My Gluten-Free Shopping Nightmare)

As you may know, I recently gave up gluten, corn, soy, nuts, chicken, avocados  bananas, celery, figs, kiwis, seeds, chips, flax and humus under doctor direction to help my auto-immune, blood and stomach problems. If it helps with well, feeling better and weight issues too, that would just be icing on the cake for me!

I attended a seminar by Dr. Aukerman last week with my friend Judi to learn more about gluten and how it is in what seems like all of the food and especially grains that we eat.

I drew this sketch during the seminar (yes, I actually did excel in school) indicating we had jumped down the very long and seemingly endless rabbit hole. Judi added we were in the fiery pit of Hell:

She has never been more right, as a matter of fact. All for the greater good, right?

I began my adventures in gluten-free shopping yesterday (and, I admit I’m not going to be able to shop at regular grocery stores anymore most likely except for meat, dairy and produce) and it was entirely more stressful than it needed to be. There is gluten in just about everything. Again, there is gluten in just about everything. Throw in no nuts, corn or soy (especially when you are trying to make a stir-fry and you’ve got some digging to do).

None of these pre-made sauces:

No chicken broths (because of the chicken and gluten) or vegetable broths (because of the gluten):

I made a roast on Tuesday night and couldn’t figure out for the life of me what I ate to upset my stomach to the extent that it was. Gluten in the beef broth I put in the slow-cooker. I had no idea.

Asian cooking is my favorite. Little did I know this new way of eating was about to effect that. Majorly.

And, I even stocked up on some gluten-free cookbooks over the weekend.

The stir-fry recipes contain chicken, corn, soy and broth as in The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods by Bette Hagman (Why aren’t they specifying gluten-free soy sauce as well as broth?!):

Thank you gluten-free girl and the chef by shauna james ahern & daniel ahern  – a love story and 100 recipes. You may have saved my Asian cooking so far now that I have discovered your gluten-free stock recipe that I can make using beef, vegetables or pork:

But still, if every shopping trip is going to go like this…I wish someone would just make a pill I could take that has all the nutritional elements I need (or don’t need) and take that 4-6 times a day and be done with it.

I already stocked up on vitamins – D, B75, Zinc, Magnesium, Cinnamon, Fish Oil, Calcium and who knows what else:

I sent Judi this text from the parking lot, nearly in tears:

Don’t tell me if there is gluten in Cadbury Eggs. I can’t say no to them, seeing as this made it home with me from the store:

Although, I did leave these limited-edition Pringles there. Has anyone tried them? Are they good? It was very temping, but the egg wins every time.

(And no, I did not put Tabasco on my egg as the picture may suggest, but don’t think that has never crossed my mind before!)

So, there I was with all the ingredients for a fabulous stir-fry and no sauce whatsoever. It was one of my running friends that helped me out with the simplest of suggestions:

Thank you, Dawn!

I still have some experimenting to do, but here is my gluten-free stir-fry sauce. Was it good? My idea of good is apparently sugary sauces filled with gluten. It certainly wasn’t famous. This will take some getting used to. It was not bad at all, though, just different than what I am used to and thinner than what you buy in the store. My husband said it was good, but maybe he was tired of all the tears?

Gluten (and soy and nut and corn)-Free Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1 cup 100% Pineapple Juice (not from concentrate)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (or to taste)
  • Chinese Five Spice (to taste, you can also add extra ginger if you want)
  • A splash of Thai Fish Oil (I read it can be used as a substitute for soy sauce in Asian cooking)
  • A few drops of Rice Vinegar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Brown Sugar (or to taste, not packed)
  • 2 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)

It looked like this when it was done (I did not need the whole cup of sauce either):

I also literally added two drops of sesame oil to the veggies when cooking them to give them some flavor. It is very strong. Sesame is a seed so I would use this sparingly if you are eating like I am.

All I can say is, there are not any leftovers today!

Do you have any gluten-free sauce recipes you would like to share? Tell me in the comments!

Until the next mile marker,


I know what I am about to say may raise some eyebrows, cause some concern, generate some strong opinions and maybe start some healthy conversation too.

I have been seeing a new doctor at Ohio State to help figure out what is wrong with me.

I have had more blood drawn than I even thought possible, even with a blood clot. I have found out that I am gluten intolerant (still waiting on a Celiac’s diagnosis) and deficient in a whole host of vitamins due in part to this intolerance.

Without further ado, I’m going to start eating for my health, for my life

I am giving up-

1) Gluten (According to Dr. Aukerman, all grains listed below contain gluten  on some level due to how they are now grown and produced)

  • Wheat, Barley Rye
  • Spelt
  • Quiona
  • Soy
  • Sorghum
  • Brown Rice (very limited quantities only)
  • Oats
  • Corn
  • Teff

2) Poultry (yes, poultry, because chickens ingest massive amounts of corn and are exposed to latex and ingest too many plant oils)

3) Avocados, Bananas, Celery, Figs and Kiwi (all contain a latex-like protein to aggravate the immune system)

4) Seeds, nuts, chips, flax, soy, chickpeas and humus (because they are saturated in plant oils, which are actually harmful for our bodies as they are produced today and ingested in mass quantities like we do)

I’m adding fish oil, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, B-75 and cinnamon to my diet immediately.

Dr. Aukerman believes all of my autoimmune problems, including the antiphospholipd syndrome can be cured by eating this way. It was the result of a culmination of years and years and years of bad food being eaten through no fault of my own, per say. The foods we eat – are taught to eat – are poison. I’ve already noticed a difference. I can’t tolerate pasta or soy. I know this by eliminating it for four days and then having some. It was like I got sucker-punched in my gut. It was immediate and it was violent. No more. After those experiences, I can’t afford not to try this.

What are your thoughts? Let’s hear them in the comments below!

I know there is a God because so far all of my hot sauces are safe (don’t worry, those were the first things I checked). Giving up chickpeas just might kill me, though.

Until the next mile marker,

Hello, My Name is Sara and I am addicted to Hot Sauce (Plus, the Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Too)

Growing up in my house, we didn’t eat a lot of spicy things. That’s not to say we didn’t eat flavorful things, just not spicy. It wasn’t until I went to college and had an Indonesian and Indian roommate (at a very multi-cultural college as well) that I discovered the world ofspicy heat. Suddenly, the possibilities with food and even ethnic cuisine were endless. I was hooked. I can’t get enough hot sauce – all kinds, flavors and origins. I’ve been known to “sample” it from the bottle. My favorites are the Asian varieties, but I’m not picky. I’ll try anything that has heat to it. Habaneros straight off the vine? Bring it on.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the Celiac Awareness Tour with my friend and fellow blogger Rebecca at Pretty Little Celiac. The day stated off with a kick – just the way I like it!

I got to meet the lovely ladies of Tandoor Chef and try their delicious product. It was so good! I was hesitant at first because this is frozen food, and I was wondering if it would taste like “restaurant-quality Indian cuisine” as promised.

I tried the Chicken Tikka Masala and it was fantastic. I could not tell it was previously frozen. It was rich, spicy, warm and flavorful. I’m typically hesitant with chicken – it has to be overly cooked for me – but, this chicken was even good, flavorful and yes, even I liked it tender. It was also gluten-free as are 16 of their other dishes. Tandoor foods are not genetically modified (Non-GMO), have lower sodium and has vegan and vegetarian options, enriched with the fiber and protein your body needs. What I really want to try is this (I am also obsessed with chickpeas). I will be purchasing these products in the future – if you haven’t, you’re missing out!

From there, we only turned up the heat. We visited Jungle Jim’s – a gigantic international market and grocery store in Fairfield, Ohio just outside of Cincinnati. They have everything there, and I do mean everything. Including candy insects.

Just look how big this place is!

I knew it was going to be a great experience when the first sign I saw was about the upcoming Weekend of Fire starting on October 6. You can “Sample and purchase sweat-inducing foods from all over the country at our Fiery Food Show!” I am so there.

And if that wasn’t enough, after perusing the huge gluten-free selection of foods, I findthe largest hot sauce display I have ever seen in my entire life. I may have freaked out a little bit (just a little).

How can you stay calm with THIS before you?!

There were hot sauces from everywhere and some very unique names as well. Giantjugs of tobasco too – anything you could want. Even. My. Favorite. Sauce. Of. All. Time. Oh yes, I purchased several of these babies and Sarachi to take home with me.

Satan’s Blood was even there.

In fact, many things are giant at Jungle Jim’s. When it’s my favorite sauce, I really can’t handle it. The smaller ones are the only ones I have ever seen at the regular grocery stores around here.

I also purchased some Ghost Chili’s (The Naga Bhut Jolokia) from India, which are reportedly the hottest pepper in the world. It had Scoville (a.k.a. hello your hotness) rating in 2004 of 1,041,427 units. For comparison, Tabasco red pepper sauce rates at 2,500–5,000 and pure capsaicin (the chemical responsible for the piquance of pepper plants) rates at 16,000,000 units. I have never tried them, but I am so excited.

And Rebecca bought be a birthday gift, which I just tried on homemade pizza today. Enter, Frostbite. It’s white, yes, but there is nothing frosty about this sauce. It is fantastic! And it contains pure capsaicin – I think I’m in love.

SO – while I may have a slightly unhealthy obsessive irrational unique love of hot sauce – did you know it is actually good for you? Researchers are finding that capsaicin, the compound that gives chili and cayenne their zing, has a lot of health benefits. Find out why!

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Hot Sauce (If you can stand the heat, that is) 

  1. Hot sauces improve digestion. The spiciness in a hot sauce or a salsa stimulates stomach secretions. And while it is usually heard that ulcer sufferers should avoid spicy foods, it turns out that eating hot food stimulates blood flow to the stomach and increases its mucous lining, which may actually help heal ulcers
  2. Hot sauces can battle depression. Every time you eat something hot, you release endorphins and endorphins are the natural “happy drug” that your body produces. Endorphins resemble opiates in how they work and help to relieve pain and promote a sense of well being. They’re often called “natural pain killers” or “the runner’s natural high.”
  3. Hot sauces can treat a cold. Have you ever eaten salsa when you have a cold? It helps clear the sinuses.
  4. Hot sauces may boost your metabolic rate. And can help you eat less and feel satisfied longer. It suppresses appetite and increases the number of calories your body burns. In fact, a British study showed that capsaicin when added to breakfast foods or appetizers at lunch caused people participating in the study to eat less during meals as well as afterwards. I just read you can drink spicy tea for breakfast (hot sauce added to a mild tea) to really boost your metabolism in the morning. Don’t think I won’t try this.
  5. Hot sauce contains vitamin C. This vital nutrient helps repair and heal many different parts of your body and may even help to heal aching and painful arthritic joints.

What about you? Do you like hot sauce? Do you hate it? Have you noticed any health benefits since you’ve been eating it? Tell me in the comments below!

Stay tuned for more about my Jungle Jim adventures and enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Plus, don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY.

Until the next mile marker,